Dom Um Romão

Hotmosphere

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More pop than hot, this mixed bag from Brazilian drummer/percussionist Dom Um Romao ranges from singalong Carnival tunes to more substantial tracks featuring superior arranging and solo work. A veteran of the Latin, pop, and jazz scenes, Romao's extensive CV includes work with Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 and an early edition of Weather Report. Hotmosphere is in the Latin pop vein of the Mendes group, rather than a missing chapter from the days of Weather Report's I Sing the Body Electric. While Romao is the titular leader, his role on this 1976 release is more of an ensemble member than featured artist. It's Célia Vaz's arrangements for a crack lineup of session players that are the main interest. The high points are the four or five arrangements that gracefully interweave the horns with the sensuously pulsing voices of Sivuca, Julie Janeiro, and Gloria Oliveira. The charts also work in some intriguing Oregon-like passages for cello and soprano sax, and set up strong solos from Mauricio Smith on soprano sax and flute, Dom Salvador on piano, and from trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who brings some hard bop fire to the date. Sivuca's several solos where he vocalizes in unison with his uncredited accordion will be, at best, an acquired taste for listeners. Many, though, will find his piercing nasal tone annoying.

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